Stop Eating at Your Desk
I just heard a startling statistic – researchers at the Potential Project have studied how much our mind “focuses on the now” in the workplace. (The workplace – you know, that environment with distractions, pressures and everyday challenges, where you also need to make sure you squeeze in a few to-do’s for life outside work too.) They found that 47% of the time, our mind is wandering – 47% of the time, our mind is off task! Let me put it another way – 53% of the time we are making conscious choices, we feel focused, engaged, creative and can prioritize. The rest of the time, we are stressed, frenzied, feel a sense of rigidity and a loss of control. No wonder why we struggle with a positive work environment! Can’t believe it? Take this quick test – set your timer for 30 seconds, think of one thought, and see if you can stay on that one thought for the full 30 seconds. Go!
If we are not focused on the now, we’re missing out on potentially half of what is going on around us. I have to admit, I knew life can be distracting, but I didn’t realize it was this much of the time! Can you believe it would be an accomplishment to have a 40/60 split of distraction/mindfulness? But let’s be honest, we have been trained to think that the more we can master the use of time by doing as much in the minutes given, the more we can cross off our to-do list. There’s only so many hours in the day and time is money, right? But wait a minute – if we are only using half of our time wisely, how much more could we make? And how much happier could we become in the meantime?????
The good news is that science tells us we can train our brain to do better. So where do we start? If you’ve been reading my blogs, you know I love working with bites we can chew. So for this week, I give you this bite to chew on - focus on “be here now” as you move through your day. If you’re driving kids someplace, focus on the drive and them (they have great stuff to share!) If you’re volunteering, focus on that work and the organization you are serving. If you’re working out or heading to the studio, appreciate the fact you’re doing something good for your body. If you’re in a meeting or on a conference call, focus on that, instead of trying to do something else quietly so the other person doesn’t notice. If you’re eating lunch at your desk, STOP!!! and go eat someplace else where you can actually acknowledge what you are eating and appreciate the person who made it for you. Engage your senses and notice how it smells, as well as tastes.
Don’t miss out on half your life – you’ve only got one shot at it! Be here now and start to see what’s around you!